Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Statement Analysis of Sarah Ridgeway

Although body language analysts are beginning to weigh in and say that the parents were both genuine in their emotions, it is their words that are important to us.  People may experience genuine tears while watching a movie, or hearing a fictional story. Some people cry over their own lies and misfortunes.

All that is needed is a single journalist to ask a few simple questions.

Keep in mind:  parents have guilt over a missing child; even when innocent.  If you lost your child, you would show guilt over what you might have done differently.  It matters not that a stranger did it:  parents will struggle blaming themselves and indicate guilt.  

When it comes to a missing child case, some things need to be stated clearly in the beginning:

There is almost always indicators of guilt on the part of the parent. 

The parent of a missing child, who is innocent, will indicate guilt.  The parent may say to herself, "If only I had..." and invent a thousand things she could have done differently that would have prevented her child from walking out the door. 

Guilty parents will also give indicators of guilt. 

Question:  How can we tell the difference?

Answer:   By the interviewer simply asking basic, journalism 101 type questions such as:

"Did you cause Jessica's disappearance?"  or "Do you know what happened to Jessica?"
"Did you take a polygraph?"  and "Are you telling the truth?" and allow us to listen to the responses.

Next, we must always be aware of sensitivity indicators of deception in regards to family dynamics and troubles.

A mother has a daughter storm out of the home in anger, only to be met by a stranger who kills her.
A husband portrays his relationship with his wife as positive, when it is really on the rocks, when she is reported missing, only to find that she was murdered by a stranger.

The relationships in these cases can be complicated.  We will see this in the language of Sarah Ridgeway.

She shows indicators of sensitivity that are specific in this case.  We need for her to tell us that she did not cause Jessica's disappearance.  She sat for more than 30 minutes but was not asked a single good question.  

What do we know about the case thus far?  From the language only, we know that the mother, Sarah Ridgeway, has not issued a reliable denial.  

This is only one interview, and she was not asked directly, which is a shame.  Her denial was weak.  She said that she "knew"

"know I didn't do anything. Everybody that's here knows I didn't do anything," Jessica's mom Sarah Ridgeway said, surrounded by 10 family members, including Jessica's father, Jeremiah Bryant. "Nobody in this room did anything to harm her or a tiny hair on her little head.
This is not a reliable denial.

"I didn't cause Jessica's disappearance" is very strong and likely reliable.
It contains the pronoun, "I" and uses the past tense verb, "didn't" and addresses the
specific concern:  her "disappearance."

Think how you would say it.

You would say, "I didn't do it" because you didn't.  Would you say, "I know I didn't do it"?
Likely not unless someone did not believe you.

"I know I didn't do anything" is actually doubly weak.  First, it is weakened by
"do anything" because this violates our third component and does not specifically
address anything.

But there is also the weakness of adding "I know" to her statement.  By saying that she "knows" she
allows for others to "know" something different.  This could be in relation to accusations by police.

It was also a perfect time for the interviewer to ask her, "When you say "anything", what do you mean?"

The interviewer can also ask her, "Have you told the truth?" and relate back to one of her statements. If she had told the truth she can say so, but if she says, "I don't lie" or "How can you ask me that while I am sitting here in such pain?" we have a problem.  Unfortunately, waiting for a reliable denial has been prolonged by poor journalism.

Sarah Ridgeway has also,  at least twice, shown belief or knowledge that Jessica is dead by referring to Jessica in the past tense.  We do not know what police have told her, nor why she believes this but she did speak of losing hope.  This is not at all expected.  For mothers, hope springs eternal and the natural denial of maternal instincts will cause most to deny.
What has caused Sarah Ridgeway to reference her daughter in the past tense?

This should have been asked of her.

With families there are always sensitivity indicators related to the relationships.  Here there are several. Any parnet of a missing child will show guilt and blame himself or herself.  This is natural.  It can be seen as sensitive.  This is why good interviewing asks follow up questions. In any interview, Sarah Ridgeway should have been asked:

1.  Do you know what happened to Jessica?
2.  Did you take a polygraph?

The follow up questions to these are obvious.  "Why haven't you taken a polygraph?"  "Have you been asked to take a polygraph?"and finally, "Are you willing to take a polygraph?"

These are common questions that should always be asked.  The interviewer failed even a single one of them, instead he introduced Jessica as the "light" of their lives.  We cannot use "light" in analysis because it did not come from Sarah Ridgeway.  

 We look for a reliable denial and one cannot be cleaered until it is issued.  Here are some of the quotes thus far with Statement Analysis is bold type.  

"She, she never misses school. She loves school.  Her favorite subject, one of them is math and one of them is PE. She doesn't, she doesn't miss school and she would never not go to school cause she didn't want to. She, I knew when they called and said she hadn’t come to school, I knew something was wrong, so I made sure , you know,  she wasn't in the places that I knew she wasn't going to be, but, you know,  you have to check and she wasn't there and that's when I knew.  I went straight back home to check in the school, her friend’s house and called directly 911, so.”

Note that she "knew" at a certain time:  "when they called."  This is not true.  She did not get the voice mail until much later because her phone was turned off. 
Please note that when someone is telling us what happened, any time they feel the need to explain "why" something happened, as very sensitive.  I listened to her response with a 30% reduction in speed to make certain that I had her words correctly:  

"I knew something was wrong so I made sure, you know, she wasn't in the places I knew she wasn't going to be..." tells us why she searched or looked (or passed by) in certain locations.  Why would she need to explain why she searched?  What mother would not search?

Note also a need to show her activity as immediate.  No one would think that a mother would pause to search, or pause to call 911.  Yet, to her, it is very sensitive.

Q.  “It’s been reported they (school) left a message..”

Answer:  “They left a message on my cell phone, yes. I ‘ve had, I have been applying to college and one of the colleges had been calling (pause)  a lot so  I had left my phone downstairs because I knew they’d call and wake me up and I like to be up at four when Jessica gets home I’m up.  So that is mostly why it was not right next to me.  They call when I’m trying to sleep and I need to be rested for her

Here we see high sensitivity attached to the phone being turned off. 

 The mother has a need to justify turning the phone off to sleep (she works the night shift) which leaves the school unable to reach her in the case of an emergency.  Apparently, the mother not only turned off her phone, but did not give the school another person's number so that they could have alerted the mother that Jessica was missing.  If she regularly works the night shift, it is expected that either the school can reach her, or that she leaves an alternate contact person in the case of sickness, or an emergency.  

Please note that this is "mostly" why it was not right next to her.  She had other reasons that she does not give here. 

Please note that unless someone tells us that she was asleep, we cannot say that she was asleep. 

The sensitivity over the phone is very high.  It is so high, in fact, that she wants the public to believe that her own sleep was actually for Jessica's benefit.  

Question:  What causes such sensitivity over the phone being turned off?

Answer:   We do not know.  A follow up question would have let us know but the journalist was not listening. 

It could range from anything from direct involvement in the disappearance all the way to a mother's guilt for only turning the phone off and missing the worse call in her life.

Q.  Take me back to those moments when you’re going to the places you hope she is…(edited as his voice faded as he was seeking her emotions while searching) 

A.  “Well, I went to , I went past the park and you know, I know she likes the park so I I thought well, maybe they made a mistake and she’s at the park playing with her friends so I passed the park and you know you have that little bit of hope.  Then, I go to her friends and her friends not answering and you kind of lose a little more hope.  I go to the school and their not, nobody, you know, had seen her, you lost a little more hope and you go to her friend’s house and still you don’t hear anything and then you get the pit in your stomach that you don’t want any any parent any parent to ever experience in their whole entire life.  And you know your child just been taken.  It is not ever ever anything I want ever any parent to go through.  And I never would have thought that I would have had to but we are a strong family so I know we will get through this.  We will find her and make sure that she is well taken care of like she has always been.  This is just gonna make her stronger too, just like the rest of us. 

Here we find distancing language as well as the emotions in the perfect or "logical" place of the story.  

She has the need to tell us why she went certain places as highlighted in the color blue.  This is very sensitive.  Rather than just say "I went to the park" she has a need to tell us why, and she changes, "went to" to "passed" the park.  She did not say that she stopped at the park and looked.  This may be that in driving past the park, any children playing would have been easily visible from the car.  It is, however, sensitive to the mother.

Note the change in verb tense when she goes to school. 

Note the losing of hope is reported in the second person.  This is distancing language that could be an avoidance of emotional pain, or it could be an indicator of deception.

"Like she always has" is a sensitive indicator of guilt over having not cared properly for Jessica.  Only those who feel the need to express this say so.  This tells us that the mother may have child protective services history, or has been accused of neglect in the past. 

In truthful accounts, we find the emotions come "after" the story, but in deceptive statements, we have the emotions in the "perfect" or "logical" part of the story.  

Here, however, the journalists specifically asked for her emotions while searching.  This means that the inclusion of the emotions is in response to a question, and not in the Free Editing Process (regarding emotions).  Even though the emotions part of the answer is in direct response, she still should be considered in the FEP regarding the words she chooses about her emotions.  It is only the topic of emotions that is specifically sought by the journalist. 

Q.  Sunday afternoon when you got the word about the backpack

A.  I felt a sliver of hope.  I figured you know if something really bad happened to her they wouldn't have gotten rid of the back pack just sitting there.  They would have it wouldn't have been in plain sight. So there was just that sliver of hope that you never know, so. A little positive.

Her lack of denial over something "really bad" is concerning.  Have police given her indications that they believe a sex offender has her?  Has she read accounts in the news about kidnappings and sex offenders?  The interviewer did a poor job in asking questions, including given her language (lights) where he should have asked follow up questions based upon her language.
Note the backpack just "sitting" there; when an inanimate object is reported to be sitting, it is often that the person put it there.  Inanimate objects do not "sit, stand, lay down" etc. 

"They took me for a second interview with police Saturday I don't know what time it was, but they , but when we came down the end you can see the parking lot in that the rec center was full the cars were lined up down the street, the open space, all the way to our   It looked, it was more full over there than it was for the air show and I mean, the overwhelming support is tremendous and I want to thank everybody who helped look for her. And is still is looking for her to help bring her home.  That was not anything I would have expected. I mean, people who'v enever even met her or saw her out there tromping the fields and the snow is just amazing. Everybody who has donated everything to help us and them and the police are just you can't thank them enough and we will continue to thank them after Jessica is home forever."

The word "with" is here with the police and indicates distance.  This may be due to the two interviews and the fact that the FBI asked the father if he suspected the mother.  
Note to help "us" and not Jessica. 

Note the order of help:

and thirdly, the police. 

Regarding searching:

"it gives us hope, kinda, that they will find something small and insignificant and not something that's everybody's worse nightmare, so you know, there's that hope but on the other hand there's that little fear that you know, so its kinda like a a double fisted (pause) of some kind.  Double edged sword. Uh, there's my metaphors.  (laughter)

I am more comfortable hearing a mother say "it gives me hope."  A missing child is very personal and we have not heard much personal language from the mother. 

Her other statements as well as those here suggest distance between the mother and the child.  When a child is portrayed as the helper, we often find "parentification" where a mature child steps into the role of parent, having to soothe the adults emotions.   

As adults, we are the rock of stability for our children; not the other way around. 

We also have the sensitive mentioning of the care that Jessica received "as she always" did, which is something we more often hear from a mother with a Child Protective Services history than not. 

Sarah Ridgeway has not yet told us that she was not involved in her daughter's disappearance. 

We continue to wait for her to do so.  


Lemon said...

“They left a message on my cell phone, yes. I ‘ve had, I have been applying to college and one of the colleges had been calling (pause) a lot so I had left my phone downstairs because I knew they’d call and wake me up and I like to be up at four when Jessica gets home I’m up. So that is mostly why it was not right next to me. They call when I’m trying to sleep and I need to be rested for her. "
Peter, the mother says she "had left my phone downstairs..." but doesn't say it was turned off. Perhaps I missed another quote where she said this?

Jo said...

"she wasn't in the places that I knew she wasn't going to be" She knew she wasn't going to be in the places she searched.

"They call when I’m trying to sleep and I need to be rested for her." Was it when she was sleeping or trying to sleep?

"That was not anything I would have expected" Does a mother have expectations when her child is missing? Did she not feel her child was worth more attention than the air show?

I didn't see the quotes about "remember her" I think she comments how everyone remembers her. It just reminded me of something you would say about someone who has passed away.

"it gives us hope, kinda, that they will find something small and insignificant and not something that's everybody's worse nightmare" She is worried about "everyone's" worse nightmare. She clumps herself with everyone else in regards to how this would impact her. What could they find that would be small and insignificant? Anything they find would be significant or it wouldn't be considered found in relationship to this case.

Anonymous said...

And if it was turned off, why would it have to be left downstairs?

equinox said...

"it gives us hope, kinda, that they will find something small and insignificant and not something that's everybody's worse nightmare, so you know, there's that hope but on the other hand there's that little fear that you know, so its kinda like a a double fisted (pause) of some kind. Double edged sword. Uh, there's my metaphors. (laughter)"

An interesting set of mixed metaphors here. Double Fisted usually refers to drinking so hard you need both hands to hold your drinks. Are her thoughts dwelling on drug or alcohol usage to dull the pain and fear? Double Edged Sword is also used here incorrectly, or so it would seem, as this metaphor does not refer to an option that may be either good or bad depending on the outcome, as one may at first presume she is trying to express, instead it means two opposing possibilities, both of which are negative in their consequences, trapping one in a "Damned if you do, Damned if you don't" or "Catch-22" situation. She could be expressing the need to drink heavily to dull the fear that they will find something small and insignificant - that is not at all what she wants them to discover.

Anonymous said...

Im still reading your new analysis but I wondered what you thought of this
I feel like a caged rat with the media right outside of our door! I just want them to leave. It annoys me that we can not sit on the front porch without being hounded by them. I am glad that they are staying with Jessica's story because I want her home so bad! Please everyone keep praying for her safe return and sending positive vibes towards her.

Forever Curious said...

""Like she always has" is a sensitive indicator of guilt over having not cared properly for Jessica. Only those who feel the need to express this say so. This tells us that the mother may have child protective services history, or has been accused of neglect in the past."

If the parents are (reported but also denied by dad's grandma) in a custody battle or were, and if she was accused of not being the best parent because of her night job, couldn't this create the sensitivity rather than a protective services history? I would think if someone raised this as a hook to get custody and then by sheer coincidence the kid gets taken and she doesn't get on it right away because she was sleeping the guilt and the fear of future repercussions if Jessica returns would be tremendous even if she were completely blameless. Elsewhere you said she didn't leave an alt # for the school- that's not necessarily true. With a kid being absent and the school knowing mom works nights, the school may have been nonchalant and figure an absence was no emergency as is normally the case. Kids are absent every day from schools and parent contact is often by way of messages on machines - the point is not typically fear of kidnapping but fear of skipping class. With a well-behaved child who loved school, there were probably no worries anything was wrong.

Forever Curious said...

The first part of the statement- hoping they will find something small and insignificant - struck me as odd. They only want police to find things that are irrelevant? She does add in what she doesn't want them to find- something that's everybody's worse nightmare- but she does not say we hope they find Jessica. When they found the backpack, isn't the logical as well as hopeful next step that the backpack leads to her? Isn't that what the bloodhounds are trying to do?

BostonLady said...

Wow, this is quite a change from the first article I read. The first article didn't have a huge amount of statements from the family but what was said, seemed straightforward to me without any references in the past. This is completely different.

To shut off the phone making it impossible for the school to get in touch with her is not okay. What if it was her daughter calling her? I can't understand this.

This statement bother's me greatly. "This is just gonna make her stronger too, just like the rest of us." This mother has no idea what her daughter is going thru right now. How can she make this statement? Her daughter isn't in a competition or running a road race. Odd to presume this and sounds like she is story telling.

Forever Curious said...

Jo I listened to the entire tape and the quotes about remembering her were weird. She talks about Jessica's past teachers remembering her as if it's something remarkable- like if 30 years had passed since they had her in class. Why would an elementary school student's teachers not remember her a year or few after teaching her for an entire school year, especially when she is still in the same school as them day after day?

Jo said...

"They took me for a second interview..." She uses "took" instead of she "met with" or she "went" to another interview. By saying "they took me" she is implying it was not something she did willingly.

Vita said...

Anon, isn't it snowing? the mother to say this in her interview. It was snowing, or there is snow? Weather history, it did snow 10/5/, 10/6. The temps though on Oct 5th, Friday, H 68, L 30. Mother said Jessica put on her coat, coats. She first said coat, then said coats, because it was snowing. Oct 5th, Sunrise 7:01 AM MDT Sunset 6:35 PM MDT - the moon stage, it was just a sliver, no moon then would create light Thursday night. Thursday was 20 degrees colder than Friday. Thurs high was 45, low 37. * too bad she cannot sit on her porch, and 2ndly Jessica can't find her way home. There are many people who have a missing person in their life, and cannot get an ounce of media attention for their loved one. Her boo hoo is annoying.

Vita said...

Update Presser - 7:28 pm Eastern, 10/10/2012

The parents of a missing 10-year-old, Jessica Ridgeway, are not suspects in her disappearance, investigators said today.

“At this point in the investigation, after thoroughly looking at the parents, we’re confident that they’re not involved in the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway,” said Westminster, Colo., police investigator, Trevor Materasso. “The focus shifts to an unknown suspect, as we think that she was abducted.”

Sarah Ridgeway told police she last saw her daughter last Friday morning when Jessica left for school in Westminster. The fifth-grader never showed up at a nearby park where she was supposed to meet friends for the one-mile walk to her elementary school.

The school called to report Jessica absent, but Sarah Ridgeway told police she was asleep during the day because she works overnights and did not get the call until eight hours later, when she called police.
Not Standing on a shout box to say, If she was my daughter I would have. No. My daughter at 10, I either walked her, or drove her to the bus, and I sat and watched, till she was picked up. Her to walk home from the bus, as I was at work was unnerving. She and I had a system, and thank god she applied it on her end, and nothing every happened to her. You're child at Ten is never 100 percent safe, so why the roll the dice?

As here, I mean by rolling the dice. This is plain out ignorant. To allow a 10 yr old, to walk a mile to school unsupervised. A mile. A lot can happen in one mile. A 10 yr old is not old enough to protect themselves let alone able to predict or react to what could happen. Talk about leaving a kid defenseless. Even is she was to meet up with friends, they too would be Elementary age, they to do what? in the event of?

7:30am, walking a mile, when no one is paying attention. Everyone is in route doing their daily am drive, Friday even worse, people are thinking about their weekend, more so not paying attention. SMH


Vita said...

Law Enforcement, Press conference, Update. Jessica Ridgeway. Police clear Jessica Ridgeway’s parents, call her disappearance an ‘abduction’.

Posted on: 4:32 pm, October 10, 2012, by David Mitchell, updated on: 06:50pm, October 10, 2012

Guessing this is MDT time zone.


Laura said...

Body found :( 6 miles from her home

CEC said...

Good to see you Vita. What is your take on possible involvement of one or both parents? I am surprised that LE is publicly ruling out the parents so quickly. It makes me wonder if they have another reason for doing so.

CEC said...

Oh, no. Wasn't it 6 miles away that they found her backpack and water bottle? :-(

awhitcomb said...

This "be strong" thing chilled me, too. I know she's been supposedly cleared by LE, but Susan Smith said she hoped her boys "would be strong for each other." How toddlers are supposed to do that, I don't know. At any rate, this mom doesn't have the relationship with Jessica that she paints. Nuh-uh.


Jazzie said...

"Around 6:40 p.m. Westminster Police Department tweeted the following new information in the ongoing investigation:
This afternoon a body was discovered near the Pattridge Park Open Space in the City of Arvada. ...more...

"There will be additional information tomorrow morning at a press conference at the Westy PD at 6:30 am. ...END..."

Laura said...

Yes but that was in the opposite direction. Probably planted to throw off LE.

Lulu said...

Water bottle found 6 miles north of her home...body found 6 miles southwest of her home. Maybe backpack/water bottle planted up north to 'throw off' searchers? Poor little girl.

Vita said...

Streaming News as it updates,

Twitter feed:

Hashtag to search Twitter: #jessicaridgeway - tweets are coming in from all over :(

This is too damn sad

Vita said...

Twitter feed of Law Enforcement

Vita said...

CEC I too find it odd, LE won't even say where Poly's were taken or not. Why? what would it hurt, it being stated or not. Unless LE knew there was a body found, at the time of this Press conf. It's beyond tragic, our children "if "this was a stranger abduction ( no such thing as a stranger, only a monster) are not safe right in front of their house or on their street. This being within a short distance, the water bottle, the backpack, now the body found ...all within a small radius. This reminds me so, of the movie, The Lovely Bones. Susie Salmon. The word " stranger" added, is meaningless, what is considered a stranger? someone that the child does not know personally? yet the Monster knows them. The mother has red flags all over her, her words disturb me. The statements of having Jessica's bedroom cleaned, that Mother personally could not go into Jessica's room. Could not touch anything in her room. If my daughter was to Poof, I would be holding on to every last moment of her bedroom, as she left it. I would have my face crammed into her bed pillow, that I could smell her scent. NO one would be washing her pillow case or her blanket. The only time I can say, I refused to enter a room, was the front room, my Grandma passed away in, she was terminally ill. I don't understand the avoidance of Jessica's mother. She too stated in her interview, She would not be attending the Vigils for Jessica. Mother has anxiety or social disorders? something is not being said.

I don't understand the "rush" to clean her room, as mother said it was to be for her, a Safe place, once cleaned. Chills from her comments. Something is a miss within Mom and Jessica. I think if Kyron's mom, she to keep to this day, the sheets Kyron last slept on, on his bed in her house. :(

Lis said...

Law enforcement is saying they are sure the parents were not responsible. Perhaps they did take lie detector tests and their statements to the police were clear. It seems to me it's difficult to analyze statements from news articles, they are so edited and chopped up.

Poor little girl. Another heartbreaking loss. I hope they catch the person who is responsible, and quickly.

Lemon said...

thanks for the links Vita

Anonymous said...

Oh no. I checked when I first got up (3 hrs later here than most of you), to see if there's any news on Jessica only to find a body (hers, I presume) has been found six miles from her home.

I am so angry with this mother, I would like to shake her liver lose. If she worked the overnight shift and had gotten home by the time Jessica left for school, which SHE DID, she could have driven her to school every morning. There was no need for that little girl to ever walk to school (OR home) in the first time. A mile and a half is too far for a child to walk to school and back. It's so obvious little Jessica had to fend for herself.

What a piece a crap mother. I wish the father had already gotten custody of her, too bad about his prior record but at this point who cares, certainly he would have been a better father than Sarah was a mother. At least Jessica would be alive now.

I feel so bad for sweet Jessica, what a horrible, fearful, painful, way to die. Totally defenseless at the hands of a monster (while she's supposed to "stay strong", words that irk me to no end). So sad. I hope this mother is investigated further. Not saying she had anything to do with this, but many questions remain about comments and actions (and lack thereof) made by her. Somethings not right with that woman.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Anonymous 1:41, your comments won't be popular but I agree.

She was only 10 years old. The mother got her sleep, though.


Anonymous said...

I could have said more Peter, but tried to back off this mother a little, not that this is the way I feel. I'd really like to slap her silly and rub her ugly nose in everything Jessica owned.

Yeah, the cow got her sleep. NOTHING, come hell or high water would interfer with THAT. She COULD have been looking after her precious daughter, but oh no, SHE was going to bed. To hell with Jessica and to hell with the phone. Jessica could look after herself, root hog or die. The b'tch. Well, let's see how "strong" she stays NOW. Let the b'tch massage her own feet.

Anonymous said...

P.S... I was going to tell you Peter, that I got a kick out of your response to Anon @8:43 but the comments page apparently has been deleted. Darling post, couple of good laughs. Way to go! he he...

equinox said...

Good point, or perhaps Jessica was "small and insignificant" and finding her would be Sarah's worst nightmare. Finding Jessica dead or alive is a Double Edged Sword to Sarah.

sa lurker said...

Is it too weird that I am very annoyed by this woman entertaining herself by her own failing metaphors?

Her statements scream selfishness to me, but I am still stuck on that metaphor laughter. It is like she realized she cant put two words together properly and is trying to save her image by that "laughing at self" trick and that says she is more into her image than Jessica.

The tense slip up in her "search" efforts and also some past tense comments regarding Jessica disturbed me, as well.

I have not had much chance to look into what else she said and I did not go much into detail. I dislike her for being self centered when she has (or had) a child and her child is missing.

If a parent is rambling on and on about their excuses and is also busy with making stupid remarks and laughing, I have this uneasy feeling that says something is off.

Anonymous said...

Please help find Ayla

I KNEW WHEN THEY CALLED and said she hadn’t come to school, I KNEW SOMETHING was wrong, so
I MADE SURE , you know, she wasn't in the places that
I KNEW SHE WASN’T GOING TO BE, but, you know, you have to check and she wasn't there and that's when
I KNEW. I went straight back home to check in the school, her friend’s house and called directly 911, so.”

As they expected, the psychopaths' language contained more words known as subordinating conjunctions. These words, including "because" and "so that," are associated with cause-and-effect statements.
"This pattern suggested that psychopaths were more likely to view the crime as the logical outcome of a plan (something that 'had' to be done to achieve a goal)," the authors write.

Anonymous said...

What ten year old child enjoys "pretending" to give foot massages, complete with lotion, to their morbidly obese parent? Please.

Anonymous said...

Please help find Ayla

Regarding searching:

"it gives us hope, kinda, that THEY WILL FIND SOMETHING SMALL AND INSIGNIFICANT AND not SOMETHING THAT'S EVERYBODY'S WORSE NIGHTMARE, so you know, there's that hope but on the other hand THERE'S THAT LITTLE FEAR THAT YOU KNOW, so its kinda like a a double fisted (pause) of some kind. Double edged sword. Uh, there's my metaphors. (laughter)

rob said...

Last nite on JVM, one of her experts said that the child was safer walking to school than being driven in a car, as more children die in car accidents than are kidnapped off the street. But why take the chance? Put the kid in the car and drive her. 5 minutes to the school and back.She wants to be with the friends, pick them up at the park and take them too. The parent makes the decisions, not the 10 yr old. I believe I could live with a car accident better than a stranger kidnapping, if I had to chose. the not knowing would be unbearable.
As to the sleeping, I worked the nite shift the first 8 yrs of my sons life. My mother was his babysitter. At first I was awakened often by the phone. My Mam said, turn the ringer off, if I need you, one of the family will come and get you. When he started to school, they knew I worked nites, and had my number, my Mom's, and my sister-in-laws who did not work. That way they could reach someone. Back in those days, though, I don't remember the school calling for a kid not showing up at school.

Anonymous said...

i am with rob on a lot of comments. the dope who siad there are more traffic accidents: what about the safetey of a 10 year old girl walking alone? what about all the times strangers frighten her, or kids pick on her? those things do NOT get reported and don't end up being part of anyone's statistics. the commentator on that show must either not be a parent or not have common sense. the ratio of unreported incidents that frighten a 10 year old versus the sexual predator must be a gazzilionn to one. what an idiot.

Anonymous said...

i think most people here heard her lying about things but not real direct lies about what happend but about her phone and about how jessica was always treated real good. who says that, anyway? i think this poor child may have been kiled by a sex offender but her mother is showing lots of guilt for keeping her fat arse in bed instead of driving her TEN YEAR old daughter to school! she was NOT a teenager even! what is wrong with parents today? doesn't anyone care anymore?

Anonymous said...

Regarding above "Anonymous's" posting in which you said "she was NOT a teenager even!" Interesting how Jessica's mother said in her half-hour long group-supported media interview "she's not even a teen-ager, but she wants to be a teen-ager!" (insert Sara's sad little smile here.)
Even if it turns out that Jessica was kidnapped and murdered by a complete stranger, her mother IS to blame for putting her ten year old in such a vulnerable position. Maybe Mom, who so endearingly played the old "I'm just a hard-working single mom looking to go back to college" card, could have burned up some of those excess calories she is obviously consuming by walking her pre-teen daughter to school in the morning.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

There's a great deal of common sense to be found in the statements here.

I am glad that commentators stuck to analytical principle, and did not jump to conclusions. They saw the sensitivity indicators connected to the cell phone and the overall care of Jessica. They saw that Jessica was parentified, which is a strong signal of neglect on the part of the mother.

I am glad we are not reading comments claiming a 10 year old girl has the "right" to walk anywhere she wants.

~*Robyn*~ said...

I'm so glad to see your analysis of mom's statement. I am somewhat new to SA. I like reading your blog and I've read Mark McClish's books. I'm far from an expert but I did notice a lot of the red flags that you brought up. I don't know if she had anything to do with Jessica's murder but I do feel like there was possibly some neglect going on. As a mom I do not understand why she didn't take the extra few minutes to take Jessica to school before going to bed. I wonder if she even saw her that morning or if she went straight to bed. So sad...

rob said...

It was that blond daughter of Gloria Alred, I don't know her name.

Ivy said...

I haven't read anything about this case except what has been posted at this site and I have not watched the video. A lot of things don't make sense to me in the mother's statement. I find it weird when people faced with a horrible tragedy say "I wouldn't want anyone else to go through this." I can't quite put my finger on why this bothers me, but it has something to do with the focus -- on the victim's good will, (hate to say this in this context, but) the martyrdom? -- rather than the missing child, the heartbreak. That also applies to the "anyone's worst nightmare" that another commenter flagged -- you're going through it, why focus on other people? I also find it very strange that a college she is applying to is calling so often, she has to put her phone away. I don't think any college I applied to ever called me. That makes no sense to me at all. If she just forgot her phone downstairs or whatever, haven't we all forgotten our phones when we should have had them? It is neglectful, but to me better than saying, I put it away on purpose so I won't get calls from the college I'm applying to. The past tense references and the underlying hopelessness seem in conflict with the "little" sinking feeling. I don't follow the statement that if her daughter had been seriously hurt, the perpetrator wouldn't have left her backpack out in the open. Huh? This also seems to get into the motivations of the perpetrators, which is concerning to me. The fact that she felt she needed to say she had to get her sleep to be rested for her daughter broke my heart. Who says that? As others have said, to me it speaks to neglect or her (correct) belief that she is perceived as neglectful. Same with the mention that her daughter was so well cared for. I am suspicious by nature and try not to draw conclusions, but something was amiss at home for this little girl. Predators target vulnerable kids...

Tania Cadogan said...

"I know I didn't do anything. Everybody that's here knows I didn't do anything," Jessica's mom Sarah Ridgeway said, surrounded by 10 family members, including Jessica's father, Jeremiah Bryant. "Nobody in this room did anything to harm her or a tiny hair on her little head

This still leaves others who aren't here to know otherwise.

"I know I didn't do anything. Everybody that's here knows I didn't do anything,"
Never a truer word spoken since it appears that Jessica was parentified even to getting herself up for school, making/getting her own breakfast and getting to school.
Was mom getting her feet rubbed and lotion applied one of Jessica's cores, the same as pretending to be a waitress making sure she got the orders right?
Mom didn't do anything because Jessica did it all.

Harm is not the same as kill or abduct her.
Harm is minimising language

Anonymous said...

“Well, I went to , I went past the park and you know,

(Is this self editing? She was going to say I went to... then changed to I went past the park. What made her change her mind? Is beginning a sentence to a question with "well", would that be stalling for time?)

She didn't say she went to the park, she only passed the park. "I passed the park and you know you have that little bit of hope."

If you pass the park, then she was in a moving vehicle. She was in her car and she didn't get out of the car, she only drove by?

She said, "I go to the school and their not, nobody, you know,"

Did she self censor again? She said I go to the school, She didn't say it in past tense, so we can't assume she did. Because in her previous statement she stated that she passed the park, did she drive by the school to. She was going to say, "Their (they're) not" but changed her mind about what she was going to say. I don't think she could bring herself to say "they're not there"? Who would "they" be? The teachers? Her daughter and someone else?

She may not have any involvement in her daughter's disappearance, but she certainly had sensitivity indicators. I think she was trying to sound like a good mother, knowing that she was neglectful and was trying to keep that knowledge out of the public light.

Anonymous said...

The mother does not speak about JESSICA. She speaks only about herself and the public. Where is her concern and empathy for her daughter's well being? I realize the police have "cleared the parents", but something is very stinky with this mother and her statements. She "cried" on video I saw on nancy grace last night, but I did not see any tears. It was the first I had heard of this case, and my gut said "uh-oh...the mother...." Her statements reaffirm my concerns. Was she just a bad mother, or is she also involved in Jessica's disappearance? Something stinks.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This mother just lost her child. Don't you think you're being cruel? Obviously this mother has made life choices and parenting choices which you or I would never have made -- but she is still now going through a HELL I would not wish on anyone.

It's easy to sit at a keyboard and fling accusations like a monkey throws its own poop. But please remember that friends and family members of the victim may well be reading your words, and show a little humanity.

Anonymous said...

I think saying "nobody in this room did anything to harm her", would have been appropriate since her dead murdered body had not been found yet, so it is expected that the mother would use minimizing language.

sha said...

"I knew something was wrong so I made sure, you know, she wasn't in the places I knew she wasn't going to be..."
Ummm....did she really say this like this????

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to note though, that when Zara Baker's biological mother made statements, she was portrayed as a grieving mother that did not get to be with her daughter because Adam took her away from her. Her statements gave her away too, as an extremely neglectful mother. If I recall the media fell for her schtick as a poor grieving mother. Did your analysists make analysis on her released statement to the media? Yeah, she was a mother alright, just like this one.

Anonymous said...

Ala Casey Anthony...

Anonymous said...

Mother's Statement: "I felt a sliver of hope. I figured you know if something really bad happened to her they wouldn't have gotten rid of the back pack just sitting there. They would have it wouldn't have been in plain sight. So there was just that sliver of hope that you never know, so. A little positive."

For me, this statement is pretty powerful in that it's an example of how far the mind can stretch during an innocent parent's denial or unwillingness to accept that something terrible has happened to his or her child.

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

RE: Anonymous at 2:48 p.m. Why would finding Jessica's backpack only giver her a "sliver of hope"? It gave me more than that and I'm halfway across the country. I'd be thrilled to find anything that belonged to a missing child. Recently, our family thought we may have seen a parent involved in a parental abduction in our state, working at a local business. Before calling 911, we did a very casual "stakeout" in the restaurant, missing person pic close at hand. One of our family members cried when we discovered we were wrong (the desire to save this child from our state + the disappointment that felt like failure). So, I'm having a real problem with this mom's statements.

"It gives us hope, kinda that they will find something small and insignificant...."-What??? She's not sure finding the backpack gave them hope? Her uncertain hope is first that they [LE, searchers] will find something small ans insignificant? Order is important. Her first hope should be that they will find Jessica and her inherent hope should be that Jessica is alive.

With all due respect to my fellow bloggers, the personal attacks on Sara's weight reveal personal prejudice against overweight people, perpetration of the stereotype that obesity equals laziness, and a presumptuous attitude. Comments and insults about her weight/appearance will not help us find Jessica. No wonder so many children are bullies; from some of the comments here, it appears some of them learn it from their parents/relatives. The last time I checked, this was a Statement Analysis blog, not a fitness blog. Can we please refrain from personal attacks and focus on finding Jessica? Thank you.

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

Sara's comments about this making the family stronger and specifically making Jessica stronger cause me to raise my eyebrows. She goes from talking about losing hope, to a sliver of hope, to how much stronger they're all going to be.

Most parents of missing children feel far from strong. In fact, they feel emotionally laid bare, raw and vulnerable, personally violated. They're very aware they have an unseen enemy-it's very personal. They feel exhausted, wracking their brains for any possible clue and fighting non-stop fear. They have trouble sleeping, eating, concentrating, and maintaining relationships with their loved ones. Every day and night are epic struggles. You've heard the term "driven to distraction"? Keeping busy via searching, press conferences, personal appeals, and interviews to call out to and for their child, becomes their life.

Anonymous said...

That backpack I thing could be more important than anything else.

Between her saying it was "sitting" there then it's discovery as "hope".

Peter commented that the way she commented on the bag indicated she put it there. Then it being found as "hope"
When we all know kidnapped kids are often forced into cars leaving behind their belongings. This should add to her fear for her child not see it as hope unless....

She did put it there herself to try to get police in the opposite direction of the body.

I just can't let go of the past tense use and the belief she knows her child is dead.

Anonymous said...

This "parentification" thing has me a bit freaked out.

Off-topic, I have nieces who are close to Jessica's age and younger who seem just a little too well-trained and obedient for their ages. The oldest does all of the dishes each night and they have a long list of chores they must complete before any fun is had on weekends. They vacuum and dust the house, clean the bathrooms, and do their own laundry.

This all sounds great for self-sufficiency, but it seems like too much responsibility to me, and I had never encountered this concept of parentification before.

Their bedtimes seem early for their ages, and they aren't allowed to come out of their rooms in the morning until they are dressed and their beds are made. They all get themselves up with alarm clocks on weekdays, as Jessica is described to have done.

They are responsible for feeding and caring for their own pets as well. At 7, 9 & 11, they have each lost pets due to uncertain reasons, but quite possibly due to unintentional neglect. Their father claims this is an "important lesson" for them. I feel they were set up for failure, and were then directly blamed and guilted when they didn't succeed. Apparently, the poor little animals were viewed as inconsequential!

Yet for all this apparent maturity, they still have blankets, toys or "lovies" they carry around everywhere which they are very attached to. It's like they've been forced to grow up too fast and this is a small way to cling onto their childhood.

It makes me wonder what other parallels might have existed in Jessica's life.

Anonymous said...

She states that she had a sliver of hope when they found the backpack in plain sight because "they" wouldn't have left it in plain sight. That made me think that she herself placed it there because she thought it was something that "they" wouldn't have done and therefore something that would mislead police in their search.

Anonymous said...

I read the water bottle and back pack had Jessica's name on it. How could they not know it was hers? What got me was that she said she always tried to be up for her at 4:00 but not this day she did not get the call till 4:30 then instead of calling the cops because your child did not show up at school that day you go look for her? That is just not right. I looked at the distance from her address to the park she was to go to, Chelsea park. It is 0.2 miles come on. no one picked that little girl up. she never left for school that day and that Mother knows it. Patty

Anonymous said...

I also worked the night shift and when I got home on the nights he was not with his Dad (we were divorced) I drove him to school and got up early enough to pick him up at school. I could go without a couple hours sleep to make sure my son was safe.

Anonymous said...

Those for-profit, vocational-skill colleges call incessantly; they're all about making the sale.

Anonymous said...

Not for me. Not at all. It says the direct opposite to me.
Personal articles belong with the person.
If the article is separated from the person & casually placed on a sidewalk to be found, it means that person no longer needs those personal things, it means the danger they're in is heightened exponentially, it means they're probably dead.

The fact that this mother says the discovery of the backpack is "small & insignificant" is obviously minimizing language, in that it minimalizes the danger her already missing-suspected-abducted-&-raped child is in. How is a child's disappearance & suspected abduction, & probable rape & possible torture, "small & insignificant" ?? What loving, caring mother says that ?
This is a huge red flag for me about the mother & the value she places on her daughter's life, & quality of life.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article on the topic of child abduction from 2002:

Anonymous said...

Another strange thing, is almost the entire interview she is laughing. The one time she seemed to cry seemed so fake to me. The Father cried the entire interview. You could hear him while she was laughing. She is enjoying the attention, you can feel it. What I think is so crazy is that the cops in this case don't see it? Or are they just going along with the Mother waiting for her to mess up. If not then that is one BAD Police Dept. What was her home life like? What kind of job did her Mom have? Was she having money problems? So many things I do not see that were ever asked????
If she stayed with her Grandmother at night while Mother work. Why is it when Mother came home from work is there no mention of the Grandmother, what was she doing. It was 0.2 miles to this park. Could the Mother not walk her that far to assure her safety?
Nothing seems right in this case. Either the cops are dumb, or they are keeping facts from the public. Patty

Anonymous said...

Now that Jessica's remains have been found, it seems every one is hesitant to keep talking about the mother.

There are still many, many questionable statements by the mother.

Peter - I am wondering how you currently feel about the mother's comments and if you have any hypothesis on why such strange wording was used.

Mom tell me about that morning.

It was like any other morning. I got home at 7:30, her alarm went off at 7:45..she had wanted her own alrm clock so she could wake up to her alarm..she goes downstairs to watch TV, eats her granola bar, goes back upstairs and gets dressed, and then we peeled oranges for her snack at school, and made her water bottle. She gets on her coats, she calls her friend to make sure they're walking and gonna meet her friend that morning and her friend was walking. And I watched her walk out the door and thats the last time I saw her..and we need her to walk through that door.

Mom, were there ever any concerns with her walking that route?

No, last year they stopped the free bus service, now have to pay for it.. Last year there were no other kids walking to school so I always drove her.. I asked her what she wanted to do this year and she said she wanted to walk with her friend J and his older brother who goes to the middle school.. There is a whole group of them from the neighborhood that walk home.. Its too quiet on the streets too. No kids playing.. They need to be able to be out playing again and not scared.

Mom, when did you know something was wrong?

When the school called, she never misses school her favorite were Math and PE. She would never not go cause she didn't want to go. I got call from school and made sure she wasn't any of the places where I didn't think she would be but just wanted to check to make sure. (school and friends house)

Did you miss the call from school?

Yes, they left a message on my cell phone. I recently have been applying for colleges and one of those colleges keeps calling so I left my phone downstairs so that I could get some sleep because i need to be rested for when Jessica gets home from school.

After getting the msg from the school I drove past the park and had a little bit of hope and thought maybe the school was mistaken and she was at the park playing with friend.. But she wasnt and I lost a little bit of hope..went to her friends house and noone answered the door..went to the school and noone had seen her so I lost a little more hope..went back to friends house and friend still wasnt home .. And I knew in the pit of my stomach(emotional and crying) a parent never wishes to go there. I wouldnt wish for any parent to ever have to go there..

We are a strong family and we will get through this and she'll be taken care of as she always has been and she will be stronger too.""

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that this mother may have lost custody. I don't think she cared that Jessica would not be living with her other than she would lose her servant and possibly have to pay child support to Jessica's father.
I don't know that she had anything to do with her murder but I just don't get the impression that she is overly torn up about it. Did you see one picture of mother and daughter? Most of the pictures were dated 2006.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Mother has showed some real issues with:

the cell phone;
her child going to work;
and neglect issues.

The 10 year old was 'parentified'; that is, laboring as an adult.

The relationship between mother and child was not good and mother speaks like one who has child protective history.

Her behavior has been so bizarre that I understand why the police first suspected her, and why Pat Brown, for instance, has not let this go.

Mom has not indicated guilty knowledge of what happened to her child, but there were not questions posed to her that would have made this readily visible.

We are at the point of caution: there are sensitivity indicators from mother that are concerning, but they are not about what happened regarding the disappearance.

I think readership likely agrees: she is very strange.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps this mother never had any interaction with her daughter that morning (or most mornings) which is why her recall of what happened sounds more like a made up story than a memory. ???

Anonymous said...

I wonder if she called 911 and we will eventually see the transcripts or if she physically went to the police station. I am guessing, it was a phone call. So maybe the 911 call will shed more light, if it is ever released...???

Anonymous said...

she lived with the Grandmother and the Aunt also. What is their side of the story? Do not see where anyone has even asked them one question. Something is wrong with this case all the way around.

MsGvious said...

Sarah Ridgeway’s 911 Call: